Guide to the Eric Rath Collection MS 299

Finding aid prepared by Bryan D. Cullen
San Diego History Center Document Collection
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
October 26, 2015

Title: Eric Rath Business Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MS 299
Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 3.0 Linear feet (5 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1969-1982
Abstract: This collection contains papers related to the various business projects conducted in the San Diego area by Eric Rath.
Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English, German, and Spanish.
creator: Rath, Eric, 1911-1980

Biographical / Historical Notes

Eric Rath was born on January 23, 1911. He was president of Pacific International Hover Craft, Mexicoach, TRC Development, and Tijuana-Baja Tours. He lectured about transportation at University of California at San Diego, National University of Colombia, and at the Superior War Academy in Bogota, Colombia. He was also a transportation services advisor for the Colombian government as well as for the Department of Defense. He was awarded Putnam Food Award and several others.
Eric Rath started Pacific International Hover Craft (PIHCo) in 1969. The company leased the hovercraft from a British hovercraft company, Seaspeed. The plan was to transport tourists between San Diego and Tijuana. The hovercraft was able to successfully make a trip down into Tijuana, but on the return trip the engines broke down and required to be towed by the Coast Guard. Eventually PIHCo went bankrupt in the fall of 1971.
Eric Rath started another company in 1970 called Mexicoach which planned to transport tourists by bus between San Diego and Tijuana. In 1975, Mexicoach had some issues with traffic on its trips to Mexico; in 1978, Eric Rath tried to arrange an agreement with Amtrak where it would use the train to take people down into Tijuana instead. The agreement with Amtrak did not work out, but the Mexicoach business was successful and is continuing business today. In 1975, Eric Rath supported the building of a Transportation Center, which would bring together various schools in the San Diego area and focus on training students in the transportation business. Rath’s company, TRC Development, focused on the transportation of perishable goods.

Scope and Content

This collection contains papers related to the various business projects conducted in the San Diego area by Eric Rath. The majority of the collection relates to PIHCo and consists of blueprints of the hovercraft, meeting minutes, correspondence, financial information, administrative records, informational studies, newspaper articles, reference material booklets, and publicity photos. In addition there are numerous transportation reports and studies as well as information on other projects Rath was involved with. They provide a perspective on the border situation in the 1970s.
The Transportation Center project has information outlining the creation of a transportation center for education, but there is little information about the how successful it was. The San Diego-Tijuana Train Plan concerns the combining Mexicoach with Amtrak to alleviate traffic problems when transporting tourists between San Diego and Tijuana. Also included is a speech written by Congressmen Brock Adams about the California railroad service. The San Diego County Study that was used by TRC Development in their business of helping transport perishable goods is also included.


Arranged by project in the following series.
Series I: Pacific International Hover Craft Company
Series II: Miscellaneous Projects
Series III: Transportation Reports

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

San Diego Economic Development Research Program’s spine is taped with duct tape.

Preferred Citation

Eric Rath Collection, MS 299, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Bryan D. Cullen in April, 2013.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 831206A.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Adams, Brock, 1927-2004
Alvarez Malo, Ignacio
Alvarez Malo, Jose
Pacific International Hovercraft (PIHCo).


Series I: Pacific International Hover Craft Company 1967-1980 and undated

Box-folder Oversize Collections F4D1

Hovercraft blueprints 1969-1971

Box-folder 1:1

PIHCo Board of Directors 1969-1971

Box-folder 1:2

PIHCo staff 1969-1970

Box-folder 1:3

PIHCo stock 1970

Box-folder 1:4

Financials 1969-1976

Box-folder 1:5

Legal papers 1969-1973

Box-folder 1:6

Correspondence 1969

Box-folder 1:7

Correspondence 1970

Box-folder 1:8

Correspondence 1971

Box-folder 1:9

Correspondence 1973-1980

Box-folder 1:10

Correspondence Undated

Box-folder 1:11

Economic, Feasibility and Operational Studies 1969-1970 and undated

Box-folder 1:12

Economic, Feasibility and Operational Studies 1969 March-1969 October and undated

Box-folder 1:13

Economic, Feasibility and Operational Studies 1970 August 24 and undated

Box-folder 2:1

Economic, Feasibility and Operational Studies 1969 and undated

Box-folder 2:2

Economic, Feasibility and Operational Studies 1969 August and undated

Box-folder 2:3

Hovercraft - Planning 1969-1971 and undated

Box-folder 2:4

Hovercraft - Planning 1970 and undated

Box-folder 2:5

Hovercraft - Operations 1970 and undated

Box-folder 2:6

Articles 1970 and undated

Box-folder 2:7

Photographs Undated

Box-folder 2:8

Miscellanea 1967 and undated


Series II: Miscellaneous Projects 1971-1981 and undated

Box-folder 2:9

Transportation Center 1975

Box-folder 2:10

San Diego – Tijuana train plan 1972-1981

Box-folder 2:11

San Diego County Study 1971-1972

Box-folder 2:12

Miscellanea Undated


Series III: Transportation Reports 1965-1982 and undated

Box-folder 3:1

Community Economic Analysis 1965

Box-folder 3:2

San Diego Economic Development Research Program 1966 June

Box-folder 3:3

Study Design: Comprehensive Planning Programs San Diego County 1966 September

Box-folder 3:4

The Growth and Economic Stature of San Diego County 1969 June

Box-folder 3:5

Transportation in the 70’s Proceedings: International Conference on Container Age Management Systems 1970 April 20-1970 April 23

Box-folder 3:6

A Study of Transportation in San Diego County 1971 January

Box-folder 3:7

Candidate Transportation Systems 1971 December

Box-folder 3:8

San Diego-Tijuana Additional Border Crossings 1972 May

Box-folder 3:9

Overall Program Design 1973 July

Box-folder 3:10

Reconnaissance Report on the Fuel Consumption of Freight Modes in the Los Angeles/San Diego Corridor 1974 March

Box-folder 3:11

San Diego Transit Action Plan for Fiscal Year 1974-1975 1974 February

Box-folder 3:12

Economic Bulletin 1975 January-1975 June

Box-folder 3:13

University of California San Diego Traffic Access and Circulation Study 1975 February

Box-folder 3:14

Marketing Information Study 1975 April

Box-folder 3:15

City of San Diego Population and Land Use Bulletin 1975 April

Box-folder 3:16

Goods Movement and Terminal Study Phase 1 1975 August 13

Box-folder 3:17

1975 San Diego Business Survey 1975

Box-folder 3:18

The Union-Tribune’s 1975 Annual Review of San Diego Business Activity 1975

Box-folder 3:19

California transportation plan task force: movement of people in California – issue paper 4 1976 March-1976 May

Box-folder 3:20

San Diego Los Angeles Corridor Study Phase III Final Report 1976 April

Box-folder 3:21

Goods Movement Background Study: San Diego Region 1976 May

Box-folder 3:22

Proceedings of the Fourth Intersociety Conference on Transportation 1976 July 18-1976 July 23

Box-folder 3:23

California transportation plan task force: California transportation plan-policy element 1976 October

Box-folder 3:24

Fronteras 1976: San Diego/Tijuana-The International Border in community relations: Gateway or Barrier? 1976 November 19-1976 November 20

Box-folder 3:25

Transportation perspectives 1976 December

Box-folder 3:26

California transportation plan: Recommended statewide transportation goals, policies and objectives 1977 March

Box-folder 3:27

Transportation Development act: statutes and administrative code for 1980 1980 March

Box-folder 3:28

Intercity bus stations: State intercity bus plan 1980 September

Box-folder 4:1

Intercity bus routes, stations & service restrictions: State intercity bus plan x2 1980 December

Box-folder 4:2

Transportation Development Act: statutes and administrative code for 1981 1981 May

Box-folder 4:3

State bus plan for intercity bus transportation: A prospectus for change in the intercity bus industry x2 1981 June 12

Box-folder 4:4

A prospectus for change in the intercity bus industry: State intercity bus plan 1981 October

Box-folder 4:5

Intercity bus routes, stations & service restrictions x2 1981 November

Box-folder 4:6

California intermodal facilities plan 1982 March 1

Box-folder 4:7

State Intercity Bus Plan 1982 March 1

Box-folder 5:1

California state intercity bus plan 1982 March 4

Box-folder 5:2

Intercity Bus stations (revised 1982) 1982 April

Box-folder 5:3

Transportation Development Act: statutes and administrative code for 1982 1982 August

Box-folder 5:4

The San Diego Visitor Industry Study x2 Undated